© 2014

The Organization of Critical Care

An Evidence-Based Approach to Improving Quality

  • Damon C. Scales
  • Gordon D. Rubenfeld


  • Evidence-based and comprehensive survey of the organization and function of intensive care units

  • Suggests a range of improvements to consider in the physical layout and design of intensive care units

  • Includes techniques for integrating subspecialists’ knowledge for providing care to specific patient groups in the ICU

  • Discusses ethical issues related to providing critical care in regions with scarce resources


Part of the Respiratory Medicine book series (RM, volume 18)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Organizing Intensive Care

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Gordon D. Rubenfeld, Damon C. Scales
      Pages 3-8
    3. Matthew R. Rosengart, Michael R. Pinsky
      Pages 9-24
    4. Hayley B. Gershengorn, Allan Garland
      Pages 25-40
    5. Timothy G. Buchman
      Pages 41-51
    6. Stephen E. Lapinsky
      Pages 53-69
    7. Nicole Tran, Jason N. Katz
      Pages 71-83
  3. Improving Intensive Care

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 85-85
    2. Christopher Dale, J. Randall Curtis
      Pages 87-107
    3. Andre Carlos Kajdacsy-Balla Amaral
      Pages 109-125
    4. Tom W. Reader, Brian H. Cuthbertson
      Pages 127-135
    5. Ruth M. Kleinpell, Omar B. Lateef, Gourang P. Patel, Rachel Start
      Pages 137-151
  4. Integrating Intensive Care

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 153-153
    2. Ken Hillman, Jack Chen
      Pages 177-195
    3. Shannon S. Carson, Kathleen Dalton
      Pages 197-216
    4. Theodore J. Iwashyna, Jeremy M. Kahn
      Pages 217-233
  5. Critical Care: Global and Future Perspectives

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 235-235
    2. Hannah Wunsch
      Pages 237-246

About this book


The origin of modern intensive care units (ICUs) has frequently been attributed to the widespread provision of mechanical ventilation within dedicated hospital areas during the 1952 Copenhagen polio epidemic.  However, modern ICUs have developed to treat or monitor patients who have any severe, life-threatening disease or injury.  These patients receive specialized care and vital organ assistance such as mechanical ventilation, cardiovascular support, or hemodialysis.  ICU patients now typically occupy approximately 10% of inpatient acute care beds, yet the structure and organization of these ICUs can be quite different across hospitals.  In The Organization of Critical Care: An Evidence-Based Approach to Improving Quality, leaders provide a concise, evidence-based review of ICU organizational factors that have been associated with improved patient (or other) outcomes.  The topics covered are grouped according to four broad domains: (1) the organization, structure, and staffing of an ICU; (2) organizational approaches to improving quality of care in an ICU; (3) integrating ICU care with other healthcare provided within the hospital and across the broader healthcare system; and (4) international perspectives on critical care delivery.  Each chapter summarizes a different aspect of ICU organization and targets individual clinicians and healthcare decision makers.  A long overdue contribution to the field, The Organization of Critical Care: An Evidence-Based Approach to Improving Quality is an indispensable guide for all clinicians and health administrators concerned with achieving state-of-the-art outcomes for intensive care.


Critical Care Healthcare ICU Intervention Observation Treatment

Editors and affiliations

  • Damon C. Scales
    • 1
  • Gordon D. Rubenfeld
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Critical Care MedicineUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Division of Critical Care MedicineUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title The Organization of Critical Care
  • Book Subtitle An Evidence-Based Approach to Improving Quality
  • Editors Damon C. Scales
    Gordon D. Rubenfeld
  • Series Title Respiratory Medicine
  • Series Abbreviated Title Respiratory Medicine
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014
  • Publisher Name Humana Press, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Medicine Medicine (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4939-0810-3
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-4939-5163-5
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-4939-0811-0
  • Series ISSN 2197-7372
  • Series E-ISSN 2197-7380
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages IX, 284
  • Number of Illustrations 11 b/w illustrations, 23 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Intensive / Critical Care Medicine
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors
Health & Hospitals
Internal Medicine & Dermatology


From the book reviews:

“It presents the multidisciplinary development of the critical care model and a perspective on next steps in the evolution of critical care. Providers at any level are an appropriate audience for this work written by international experts from Western Europe and North America. … This book is important for anyone seeking to understand the process and personnel important to the intensive care unit.” (David J. Dries, Doody’s Book Reviews, September, 2014)